New distance record in Utah
Ozone Team pilot, Cody Mittanck and Chris Galli have just flown 204 miles to set a new distance record in Utah. Cody shares:
“The XC crew in Utah has been pushing hard over the last decade to extend the state record to the magic 200 mile mark. While I am completely in agreement with the rest of the world in denouncing the standard unit of measurement, as it turns out the feet of the Romans were preordained to measure paragliding distances here in the Western United States. The nice round and imposing number of 200 has eluded us here in Utah for far too long now; even though we have some of the best access points for long distance and some of the best XC pilots to fly them. We’ve had more than enough flights excruciatingly ending just one thermal shy of 200. I’ve had my fair share of flights in the 180 mile range, even a 192 and 195 mile flight. In 2012 Chris Galli flew 199 miles. For five years now he hasn’t been able to sleep at night; that last insignificant mile taunting him as if it were an impassable mountain range and not a mere puff of warm air. Finally last Saturday we redeemed ourselves! A break from the monsoonal moisture allowed us to fly deep within the east-to-west Uinta mountain range. The early first half of the flight we took advantage of amazing lift and flew fast and high over dense forests and roadless wilderness. The second half of the flight out onto the desert flats was difficult with frustratingly broken lift and plenty of low saves. Somehow we maintained our record setting average speed and connected back to mountain terrain late in the evening. The thermals were dead and the slopes were cooling quickly. I forced the line lower and deeper into upraising terrain until I saw the vario turn over to that magnificent 2-0-0. Further on, I surfed the windward slopes with utter elation watching the deer and elk below me scatter as the setting sun cast the long arc of my shadow across the Rocky Mountains. I landed in a creek bottom in an idyllic pasture, 204 miles from where I started. I hadn’t seen the other guys all day. I packed my wing and walked to a farmhouse nearby to use the phone. The nice old lady asked if I was the paragliding pilot that just landed, and if I knew the other paraglider that had just landed down the road. Unbelievable! Flying a different line and not seeing me in the air, Chris Galli lands 20 minutes later within less than a mile of where I landed. We reunited and marveled at the fateful coincidence. I tell him that the whole ordeal seems like a lot of work for just a number. Maybe we should have just switched to kilometers and been happy and content with all our 300 km flights, but where’s the drama in that ;)”
Cody flew Enzo 2 and Chris flew Zeno.
Congrats and Cheers from all the team at OZONE.